Monday 28 February 2011

Or is it indigestion?

Collins Music Hall survived from 1863 until a fire in late 1950s. The Waterstones bookshop at Islington Green (and a plaque) marks the location, and the shop retains some of its facade. See the excellent Arthur Lloyd site for more details. Here's an account of the (fairly staid) amusements available in 1890 from Pick Me Up:


Collins's Music Hall lives at Islington. It is bounded on the north by several large buildings, on the south by Islington Green, on the east by a policeman, and on the west by a whelk-stall. It is called Collins's because it belongs to Mr. Herbert Sprake. As soon as it was quite dark I crept round by Islington Green, and, after successfully dodging the policeman, I walked boldly into the front entrance, and asked to be shorn into the Royal Box. There was a faint cheer as I took my seat, the audience being engaged in encoring Mr. Fred Herbert, who, in response came on and sang about Gladstone, Salisbury & Co., Limited, the well-known firm of soap-makers in the City.


    The next turn was by Miss Alice Harris, who sang sweet ditties of love and of sweethearts who threw each other out of window for love of her; after which came the inevitable "London Day by Day" song in which bare-footed beggars and homeless cats and dogs were wonderfully mixed. A reasonable amount of that sort of thing is of course very right and proper, but as it is getting near the end of the silly season, haven't we had about enough of it for the present?

We're told of "eyes that sorrow dims,"
And tons of " aching, weary limbs,"
And Gospel a la George R. Sims,
In " London Day by Day"
And agony piled up so thick,
We yearn to write its "iacet hic,"
For just now we've got pretty sick
Of " London Day by Day."


Collins's is evidently a wonderfully popular Hall. That night the house was packed from roof to floor ; and in the gallery there were quite a number of soldiers in undress uniform—at least, I suppose that's what they call it when a soldier takes off his coat and sits in his flannel shirt. The next attraction on the stage was M. Edgeio, who is described as a "comic juggler," after whom came Miss Fanny Guyton, who explained her liking for taking strolls beneath the moonlight. As a matter of fact, few people take strolls above the moonlight, but that doesn't matter.


Fanny told us that when she heard the singing of the nightingale she knew that her lover was coming. That's all right, of course, as far as poetry goes: but now-a-days I believe the approach of the young man is most frequently heralded by that pronounced aroma peculiar to cheap cigarettes. Fanny then vows by the stars above that she'll be true. The stars are pretty safe things to swear by, because they're always winking at each other, you know. After she has done her song Fanny begins to dance. I took up my programme and read it through, and when I got to the end she was still dancing. I went out and strolled up and down the corridor, and when I came back she was still at it. She seemed to me to have been wound up to go a certain time, and she was solemnly determined to do that or bust.

The next turn was extra. I couldn't catch its name, as I was busy explaining to the waiter that I didn't drink, and he was wondering what on earth I did to pass the time. But there were two of it, and they were of the Irish American variety so popular just now. After the usual amount of funny dialogue, they volunteered an American nigger hymn, which they chanted in the melodious tones of a short-winded concertina with a flat-iron inside it.


The appearance of Mr. James Fawn, modestly described as a "Comedian," was the signal for wild cheers. The grace and agility of the fawn are hardly with James now, but his great popularity is evidently on the increase, and he is quite as funny as ever. In answer to repeated calls for encores, Mr. Fawn explained that Miss Katie Seymour was coming on next, and the lady had threatened to dance all over him if he kept the floor much longer.

When Mr. Fawn's substantial shadow had quite followed him out, Miss Katie Seymour brings on a song in the usual strain, about sweethearts yearning to go and die for her somewhere; and she told us that her name was Marjorie, and that even the policeman in the street called her by name as she passed, and vowed eternal love. I can sympathise with Miss Seymour, for I blush to say I have known what it is to trifle with the truth myself. After this Katie comes on and wants to know what love is, as there is something about her she can't understand, and she thinks she's got it.

It keeps me waking half the night
with wondrous fancies teeming;
It steals upon my slumbers bright,
And sets me wildly dreaming.
Is it a message from above?
Is it—ah! that's the question—
The eager whispering of Love?
Or is it—indigestion?

Miss Seymour's chief attraction is, however, her dancing. She floats on in all the colours of the rainbow, and in the distance you observe at the wings a lady watching with an anxious face, apparently waiting in case any of the safety pins should go wrong. The dancing is extremely graceful, and its studied propriety would lift the hair even of the County Council. There is a host of other talent at Collins's well calculated to sustain the bright reputation earned in the past, and that is probably why this music-hall appears to be the best known place of entertainment in the North of London.

Saturday 26 February 2011

Love and Other Things

I'm currently looking through an 1890s magazine called Pick Me Up, a modest humourous collection of cartoons and light material. You can browse some adverts from the journal here.  It also contains some oddities, not least some peculiar cartoons and poems about siren-like female figures ... here's a selection [click to enlarge]:

Saturday 19 February 2011

My Bloody Valentine

Now that February 14th has passed, I can introduce you to the dark side of Valentine's day in Victorian England ...  a perennial opportunity for sending anything from cruel hoaxes to hate-mail:

ALL ABOUT A 'VALENTINE' .—John Pickles is a young mechanic employed at Manningham Mills, near Bradford, and early last February some of the mischievous girls employed there sent him a valentine, which raised his ire, and he imagined Sarah Ellis, comb minder, had sent it. The result was a rupture between the parties, which culminated on Thursday, last week, when Pickles, forgetting his manhood, struck Ellis, and she retorted by throwing a sliver can at his head, which fortunately missed him. The poor fellow, tantalised by the girls, who called "Valentine" after him, again fell to violence on Friday evening, when he got hold of Ellis, kicked her several times, accompanying the kicks with blows on the head with his breakfast can. He had to answer for this offence on Monday, at the Bradford Borough Court, where he was summoned by Ellis, when the above statements came out in evidence. The defendant did not deny that he had assaulted the girl, but said the valentine was of a gross character, and he had been aggravated until he could restrain himself no longer by the girls calling after him. He produced several witnesses, the case causing some merriment, and eventually the Mayor said as the defendant had evidently received some provocation, he would only be fined 5s. with 10s. costs, or fourteen days in default, reminding him that he ought to know better than ever to strike a woman.
The Hull Packet and East Riding Times , 1869
BITING A MAN'S LIP OFF. Francis Burke, 21, Edmund's-place. Aldersgate-street, was charged with biting a large portion of Cornelius Hanley's under-lip off in Aldersgate-street. It appears from the evidence that the parties are neighbours, and are both sailors. They had been drinking together and quarelled as to the sending of a certain valentine. The prisoner accused Hanley of having sent the valentine, to which Hanley called him a liar. Prisoner retorted "You're another," rushed at him, caught his under-lip in his (prisoner's) mouth, and bit it off. It was suggested that Hanley was the aggressor but this Hanley denied. He was committed for trial.
Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper, 1869
THE RESULT OF SENDING A VALENTINE. - Margery Coupe was summoned by Mary Mawdsley, a widow, for being riotous and disorderly.—Complainant stated that on Tuesday night defendant came into her house and caused a great disturbance, charging her with having said she was a "drinking slut." A crowd of people gathered in front of the house, and Coupe made use of most shocking language.—Defendant stated that on Tuesday morning a valentine came to her house, and on reading it, she found it called her (defendant) a "drunken slut." When her husband came home she showed him the valentine, and he put her out. She suspected that complainant had sent the valentine, and therefore went to her house to tell her what she thought of her—(laughter). —Mr. Humber :  Well, will you promise to let these people alone in future?—Defendant: Oh! Yes; I don't want to touch them, if they won't annoy me again.—The case was dismissed on payment of costs.
Preston Guardian, 1879

Friday 18 February 2011

I Will Blow Out My Brains

Another random tale of love, betrayal and suicide, from Victorian London ...
On Monday night, an inquiry was held at Tottenham, by Mr. Humphreys, respecting the death of Mr. Gabriel Tregear, a civil engineer. The following letter, signed by him and his wife was found after his death. From it will be gathered his statement as to the cause he had for committing suicide :-
    "Fellow Countrymen -We have drawn up the statement that you might know why we have agreed to die together, and the villany that drove us to do It. We were married on the 6th of July last; and we met for the first time only a year ago. We slept together the first three months, and nothing disturbed our happiness; but then we took the house in Bedford-terrace, and, as we had only a very small income, to increase our means we let rooms. One of those lodgers was Mr. Cowen, bandmaster and secretary to the London Irish volunteers. In February I received a valentine, intimating that my wife had an adulterous intercourse with Mr. Cowen. I gave Mr. Cowen notice, and he removed to Mr. Rod's house, next door, giving out as his reason for putting up so near that he did it to show his contempt for the slander in question. I noticed that after this my wife's health failed, and four weeks ago I sent her down to lodgings in a highly respectable place three minutes' walk from my sister's, at Home Cottage, Tottenham. I received a letter from my sister, saying that she had discovered a letter written in slang terms to my wife, and she said to put a stop to any such clandestine correspondence. I suspected Cowan, and I called at Mr. Rod s, but Cowan was not in. I said to Rod I had got the letter, but Rod repudiated the imputation on Cowan, and said that he suspected someone; that it was the same person that sent the valentine, and that he would pledge his honour that Cowen was not the man he suspected, whose name be could not give. He said Cowan always spoke of my wife with respect and esteem, and as a father would of a daughter. But on Thursday I received a letter, stopped by my orders at the post office, addressed to my wife at Tottenham, cautioning her not to leave her letters about, as she was watched, and one of them was found.  The letter was signed "A Wellwisher," but as Mr. Rod was the only one that I had mentioned the affair to, I knew at once that the caution came from Rod's house. I had an interview with my wife and she admitted the intrigue. She was my adored idol. I had only seen her first twelve months ago, and I could not survive the blow. I had for her an undying love. She implored pardon, and I forgave her. I took laudanum. She called my sister, and I was forced to take an emetic.
    Let me say that my wife was only six months past 16 years of age when we married, and she was then pure as a babe. Now I call on you; fellow countrymen, to root out from society the man who infamously prostituted her to his lust. He is 43 years of age, and is married, but is not living with his wife. He committed a rape on my wife's person and then by threats compelled her to keep the dreadful secret, and so made her subservient to him, and by threats frightened her into secrecy. Her health was dragged down by the state of her mind. All you that have daughters sisters, or wives, punish this wretch. I cannot wish for life. We cannot live, and two young and shattered hearts we dedicate ourselves to deaths. (He has letters which she wrote to him, but they were written to him because he made her do so by frightening her with the secret.) My love was so great that I never would spare any expense for my wife. I cannot now bear that she should be made an exhibition of to punish that man. I hope you will all punish that diabolical wretch, who has crushed two young hearts in the spring of their life,
    The first witness examined was his wife, Mrs. Tregear, said to be very handsome. She said she was 17 years of age, and had been married ten months. She said she went to London with her husband and bought laudanum at several shops, and also took some and was ill. But his sister caused, them to take an emetic, which saved their lives. While Mrs. Tregear was lodging at Tottenham her husband came over to Tottenham to his sister's, and from her lodgings Mrs. Tregear went there to see him. He was greatly excited at the time, and Mrs. Wheaton, his sister, induced his wife to leave him, as she was sure he would be better with her away from him. He then remained ill in bed for two days without seeing her. But on Wednesday night, at a quarter-past ten, her landlady let him in after his wife had gone to bed.  bed. "He came into my bedroom," said Mrs. Tregear, "and shut the door. He stood for a quarter of an hour without saying one word. He laid flowers on the table, and he put there also the first letter he ever received from me. He placed several portraits on the table. His sister came into the room and wanted him to leave. He ordered her out, saying he wished to speak to me. She stood with her husband outside the door. My husband looked very strange, and I asked his sister to come in again. He again ordered her out, and she left, saying 'If anything happens to him you shall be given into custody.' He then walked round to the opposite side of the bed. He pointed to the flowers which he had brought, and said that he had plucked them at Hampstead that day, at the house where he had first met me. He pointed to his hat, on which there was a new black hatband, and asked me, 'Do you know what that means?' I said I did not. He said that he had seen my papa that day. (Her father had died before they were married, and he was aware of that). He said he had waited long before he saw him, and that then he told him 'to go and see her.' He said my papa told him he was married again. I do not recollect that he said anything else. I was terrified, and went to call Mrs. Wheaton, who was outside. He said, ' I will blow out my brains.' I ran to the door and called 'Sarah,' but heard an explosion, and saw him fall on to the bed. I found he had shot himself through the head."
    Dr. May gave evidence to the effect that he died an hour afterward from the pistol shot wound.
    Mrs. Wheaton, in her evidence, said that her brother had not exactly forgiven his wife, but he was so fond of her that he said to her, "I will die, Georgina, in your sight." She treated him with the greatest pride and callousness. They had agreed to take poison together, but she had evidently no intention of doing so. The Coroner said it would have been truly diabolical if the wife had accompanied her husband up to London to purchase poison under an agreement to take it with him, when she had no intention that it should be fatal to more than one. Mrs. Tregear repeated that she did take the poison with her husband. The Coroner having summed up, The jury returned a verdict—"That deceased died from a pistol shot inflicted by his own right hand while in a state of insanity into which be had been driven by the infidelity ant heartless conduct of his wife." It was stated that the unhappy lady was the daughter of parents that died seven years ago. She was then brought up in the family of an eminent surgeon practising in Hampstead, at whose death, two years ago, she was left with no other protector than his aged widow.
Liverpool Mercury 11 May 1869

Friday 11 February 2011

Random Victorian Jokes

If you follow me on twitter, you will also know that I tweet Victorian jokes ... if you would like access to them on a random basis, click below ...

Wednesday 9 February 2011

Popular Science Monthly

If you follow me on Twitter you may know that I put up oddities from Popular Science Monthly ... largely from 1915-1930 ... here's a slideshow of what I've discovered:

Sunday 6 February 2011

"You are Jack the Ripper"

The widespread excitement caused by the Jack the Ripper murders of 1888 led to a rash of accusations by the general public against 'suspicious' individuals. Some were understandable:
STRANGE SCENE IN WHITECHAPEL. AN INNOCENT SUSPECT MOBBED. LONDON, Wednesday Night.   About six o'clock this evening, a man, whose name was subsequently ascertained to be John Lock, a seaman, was rescued by police from an excited crowd in the neighbourhood of Ratcliffe Highway, who were following him and shouting "Leather Apron" and "Jack the Ripper." The cause was not readily explained. When, hwoever, he was examined at Police Station his light tweed suit was found to bear stains, which was found to be paint, but which the crowd had mistaken for blood. His explanation was perfectly satisfactory; but it was some considerable time before the crowd dispersed, and the man was able to depart.
The above, at least, was a genuine suspicion, whereas the following case sounds like mischief-making:
MISTAKEN FOR "JACK THE RIPPER". - A working man asked Mr. Lushington's advice under the following circumstances. - A few days ago he had occasion to go to the Regent's Canal Docks, when he was followed by a crowd, who charged him with being "Jack the Ripper" and gave him into custody. In answer to Mr. Lushington, the applicant said that he was taken to the police-station and detained there two or three hours. By that detention great injury was done him, and in consequence he lost a job. He believed the men who gave him into custody did it simply out of malice. Mr. Lushington said if that was the case he could bring an action against the persons.
The  murders had, of course, permeated the national consciousness in a unique way. Men used the Ripper as a bogeyman, when threatening women:
SELF-STYLED "JACK THE RIPPER" IN MANCHESTER. On Wednesday morning, at the Manchester City Police Court, a respectably-dressed young man named Stephen Rourke, described as a warehouseman, living in Foster-street, Ardwick, was charged with annoying and using threatening language towards Sarah Burgess, wife of a cab-driver, living in Argyll-street, Hulme. On Wednesday morning, about 20 minutes past 12, as Mrs Burgess was returning home along Lower Moss-lane, the prisoner, she stated, accosted her. She refused to have anything to do with him, but he continued to annoy her, and followed her, as far as Clopton-street. There he asked her it she knew who he was. She replied that she did not, and be said he was "Jack the Ripper," and threatened her with violence unless she complied with his wishes. She avoided him as far as she could, and a young man coming to her assistance the prisoner was given into the custody of Police-constable John Moore. The magistrates remanded the prisoner in order that further enquiries might be made into the case. 
Some women, in turn, were happy to adopt the same language - here, a case in Birmingham:
"She threatened to 'Whitechapel' him. The prosecutrix interefered, whereupon prisoner threatened to 'Jack the Ripper' her, and struck her on the hand with a knife."
The number of drunks who claimed to be 'that Whitechapel bloke' were innumerable; and you have to wonder if the real culprit was lost amidst a sea of false confessions and bogus letter-writing.
   The best account of this behavior is probably from the eccentric diarist Arthur Munby, admittedly a solitary individual, given to questioning young women about their lives and working habits. He had a narrow escape in Shropshire ... a draft of this anonymous letter, published in the Times of 15 October, 1888, was found in his papers:
Sir,—I have been a good deal about England of late, and have been witness of the strong interest and widespread excitement which the Whitechapel murders have caused and are causing. Everywhere I have been asked about them; especially by working folk, and most especially by working women. Last week, for instance, in an .agricultural county I shared my umbrella during heavy rain with a maid servant, who was going home. "Is it true, Sir," said she, "that they're a-cutting down the feminine seck in London?" And she explained herself to mean that "they was a'murdering of 'em by ones and twos." This is but one of many examples, and my own main interest in the matter is, that I myself have been taken for the mdrderer. And if I; why not any other elderly gentleman of quiet habits? It may therefore be well to record the fact by way of warning.
    Two days ago I was in one of the mining districts, I had just called on my friend the parson of the parish, and. was walking back in the twilight, alone, across certain lonely, grimy fields among the pits and forges. Suddenly I was approached from behind by a party of seven stout colliers lads, each of them about 18 years old, except their leader, who was a stalwart young fellow of 28 or so, more than 6ft. high. He rudely demanded my name, which, of course, I refused to give. "Then;" said he, "You are Jack the Ripper, and you'll come along wi' us to the police at— naming the nearest town, two miles off. I inquired what authority he had for proposing this arrangement. He hesitated a moment, and then replied that he was himself a constable, and had a warrant (against me, I suppose), but had left it at home. " And," he added fiercely, " if you don't come quietly at once, I'll draw my revolver and blow your brains out." "Draw it, then," said I, feeling pretty sure that he had no revolver. He did not draw it; and I told him that I should certainly not go with him. All this time I noticed that, though the whole seven stood around me, gesticulating and threatening, not one of them attempted to touch me. And, while I was considering how to accomplish my negative purpose, I saw a forge-man coming acioss the field from his work. Him I hailed; and, when he came.up, I explained that these fellows were insulting me, and that, as the odds were seven to one, he ought to stand by me. He was a dull, quiet man, elderly like myself, and (as he justly remarked) quite ready for his tea. But, being an honest workman, he agreed to stand by me; and he and I moved away in spite of the leader of the gang, who vowed that he would take my ally in charge as well as me. The enemy, however, were not yet routed. They consulted toether, and very soon pursued and overtook us; for we took care not to seem as fugitives. But, meanwhile, I had decided what to do, and had told my friend that I would walk with him as far as our ways lay together, and then I would trouble him to turn aside with me, up to the cottage of a certain stout and worthy pitman whom I knew. Thus, then, we walked on over barren fields and slag-heaps for half a mile, surrounded by the seven colliers, who pressed in upon me, but still never touched me, though their leader continued his threats, freely observed that, whatever I might do, I should certainly go with him to the town.  At last we came into the road at a lonesome and murderous-looking spot, commanded on all sides by the mountainous shale-hills of disused pits. Up among these ran the path that led to the pit- men's dwellings which I was making for. When we reached it, I said to my friend the forgeman, "This is our waym" and turned towards the path. "That's not your way," shouted the tall man, "you'll come along the road with us," and he laid his hand on my collar. I shook him off, and informed him that he had now committed an assault, for which I could myself give him in charge. Perhaps it was only post hoc ergo propter hoc, but, at any rate, he made no further attempt to prevent me and my friend from ascending the by-way. He stuck to us, however, he and his mates; swearing that he would follow me all the night, if need were. We were soon on the top of the col, if I may so call it, from, which the pitmen's cottages, lighted within, were visible in the darkness against a starry sky. "That is where I am going," I said aloud. To my surprise, the tall man answered in a somewhat altered tone', " How long shall you be?" "That depends," I replied; "you had better come to the house with me." "No," said he, "I shall wait for you here;" and the forgeman and I walked up to the cottage together. At its door I dismissed my ally with thanks and a grateful coin; and, entering in, I told my tale to my friend the stout pitman and his hearty wife, who heard it with indignation. In less than a minute, he and I sallied from his dwelling in search of the fellows who had dogged me. But they had vanished. Seeing me received and welcomed by people whom they knew, they doubtless felt that pursnit was futile and suspicion vain.
     Now, I do not object. to adventures, even in the decline of—life;. nor do I much blame my antagonists, whether their motive were righteous indignation, or, as is more likely, the hope of reward. But I think them guilty of.a serious and even dangerous error of judgment in not distinguishing between the appearance of Jack the Ripper and that of your obedient servant,

Pigeon Thieves

Another piece of local crime from my neck of the woods ('South Hornsey' then being the name for some of modern Stoke Newington). Note the amount of money involved here ... "at least £200 worth of fowls, pigeons, rabbits &c." ... a substantial sum. Note also the mention of 'highwayman literature': youths were, it was supposed, encouraged to engage in criminality, by reading penny dreadfuls and idolising famous criminals.

CLERKENWELL. — EXTENSIVE ROBBERIES BY BOYS - HIGHWAYMAN LITERATURE - William Moore, 16 of 5, Wellington-street, Shacklewell; Arthur Noble, 18, of 16, Wellington-street, Shacklewell; Chas. Hayter, 15, of 40, Neville-road, South Hornsey; and Albert Brown, 14, of 21 Shakespeare-road, South Hornsey, were charged with being concerned togethez in stealing eight pigeons, the property of William Steel, of 25, Boughton-road, Stoko Newington. The prisoners further charged with being concerned together in stealing 32 pigeons, value 19l., the propaty of Samuel Tyzack, of 84, Stoke Newington-road. Detective,Baker, N division, informed the magistrate that the prisoners were believed to belong to a gang of youths and boys who had during the past few weeks stolen at least two hundred pounds' worth of fowls, pigeons, rabbits, &c., from the private gardets and outhouses in the neighbourhood of Stoke Newington and Islington. On Thursday night, having obtained a clue as to the identity of the robbers, he went to a disused house in Shakespeare-road, and on going to a cellar underneath he found the prisoners Hayter and Brown reclining on the ground on some shavings which they had brought for the purpose of making a bed. The prosecutor'e pigeons were all gathered together in a hamper, which was tied up ready for removal. On the officer entering Hayter turned a bull's-eye lantern upon him saving, "Oh, you've come, have you. All right." Baker then searched the prisonsrs, and found in their pockets four large coloured prints, the size of an ordinary newspaper, representing the deeds of highwaymen—"Brave Claud Duval," "Dick Turpin's Ride," &c. He took the prisoners into custody, and afterwards apprehended Moore and Noble, who in a defiant manner admitted having been concerned in planning the robbery.—Evidence was also given that the boys had on a previous date stolen the pigeons named in the second charge from the house in Stoke Newington-road. It was proved that they sold the pigeons to fancy dealers, and they now admitted the fact.—Mr. Hannay sentenced Moore and Noble to one month's imprisonmont with hard labour. Hayter and Brown he remanded for a week, in order to see if they could be sent to an industrial school.
Daily News 1884


It's nice to know I'm not the only one .... a reader informs me of their blog, in which they are transcribing highlights of the advice columns from the Girl's Own Paper: everything from whether to marry a man you don't love, to how to make best use of a leg of mutton.

The site is here - have fun reading ...

Thursday 3 February 2011

Cab Rage

There are lots of stories about cabbies and customers arguing about fares, but here's one that reminds us that it's probably a good thing the modern cab-driver doesn't still carry a whip:

WORSHIP-STREET.—John Powter, a cabman, wearing the badge No. 3,537, was brought up in custody, before Mr. Hammill, charged with the following scandalous outrage :-
    Mr. Richard SP. Cohen, a gentleman residing at Shacklewell-green, who exhibited a severe laceration extending several inches down his cheek in a lateral direction from the upper part of his forehead, stated that shortly before eleven o'clock on the preceding night he arrived in town by one of the trains, at the Shoreditch-station of the Eastern Counties Railway, and as it was raining heavily at the time, he made the best of his way to the front of the station in search of a cab to carry him home to his residence. After passing the outer gates he met the defendant, who was driving at a slow pace in the direction of the cab rank at the side of the platform, and observing that his cab was unoccupied, he at once hailed him, but the defendant merely answered him by an insulting laugh, and proceeded on without any further notice. Feeling greatly exasperated at such treatment, witness hastened after him and demanded his number, at the same time insisting that he should convey him to his destination. The prisoner, however, paid no regard whatever to either request, and as he continued driving on with the same contemptuous indifference, witness seized hold of his horse's head with the intention of detaining him till the arrival of a policeman, but he had no sooner done so than the defendant commenced lashing him with his whip about the head and face with all his force. Witness was uncovered at the time, having a bouquet of flowers in his hat which he had brought up from the country ; and after cutting at him until the blood streamed down his face and he was partially stunned, the prisoner drove rapidly off, but he was instantly pursued by some gentlemen who had witnessed the outrage, and after a sharp chose he was overtaken and given into custody.
    On bring called upon for his defence, the prisoner said that he was compelled to refuse the fare, as his horse had travelled upwards of forty miles that day, and was completely exhausted; and the complainant having suddenly seized the animal by the head, and backed it with such violence that his cab was nearly upset, he considered himself justified in resorting to the only means in his power to induce him to relinquish his hold.
    Mr. Hammill severely commented upon the outrageous conduct of the prisoner and ordered him to pay a penalty of £5, or to be committed in default for two months to the House of Correction.
Morning Chronicle, 1853